6 Easy Ways to Change Your Environment to Support Your Recovery – This Weekend
Your environment is probably affecting your recovery more than you think. Make these six easy changes this weekend to boost your chances of staying sober for good.
Did you know the size of your plate dramatically affects how much you eat? It seems trivial, but the fact remains: using a big plate can cause you to eat up to 45% more.
In a similar way, your surroundings – the things you often don’t even think about – can make or break your addiction recovery.
When your environment supports you, you’re more resilient to stress, which means you’re less vulnerable to relapse.
The good news? Small shifts make a big difference. And you can make many of those shifts with very little effort.
Here are 6 easy changes you can make to support your recovery this weekend:
1. Clean Out Your Pantry
Good nutrition has the power to make recovery much easier. When you give your body what it needs – and none of what it doesn’t – you’re both physically and mentally stronger.
Relying on willpower to make good nutritional decisions is hard, but fortunately, you don’t have to. You won’t eat what you don’t have in your house – so make sure you only stock foods that support your recovery.
Start by getting rid of processed foods, sugars and grains. Next, stock up on:
- Fresh fruits and vegetables
- Quality meat, eggs and seafood
- Healthy fats, like coconut oil and avocados
Physical clutter tends to become mental clutter. When you’re in a messy environment, your brain is constantly stimulated – which means you’re constantly under low-grade stress. That means you’re less able to focus on your recovery.
And that doesn’t just apply to your house: digital clutter, in the form of disorganised files or excessive notifications, affects you the same way.
Make a point of clearing out the clutter. A few places to start:
- Designate a place for everything you own, and make sure it’s in that place after you use it
- If you don’t use it, need it or want it, find a new home for it
- Move all of the apps on the home screen of your phone, and the files on the desktop of your computer, into folders
3. Create an Oasis Of Calm
You make space – both literally and figuratively – for the things that are important to you. But it also works in reverse: you tend to prioritize the things you make physical space for.
When you stop using to deal with difficult feelings, those difficult feelings need an outlet. For many people, things like meditation, journaling and alone time fill the void. When you create a space that’s dedicated to those activities, you’ll take the time to do them more regularly – and you’ll have a premade oasis of calm to turn to in tough moments. The result? Your baseline stress levels will be lower, protecting you against relapse.
This weekend, choose a dedicated space in your house to transform into your oasis of calm. Make it soft, warm, comfortable and welcoming. Make a point of going there daily to meditate and journal, and retreat to it when you’re feeling depleted.
Bonus points for creating a separate space for exercise – another powerful outlet that boosts recovery.
4. Post Your Goals
Goals give you purpose – and purpose keeps you moving forward.
Set a few short and long-term goals, like achieving your 30- and 60-day sobriety milestones. Then, come up with a few smaller goals or habits that will help you get there – like exercising or meditating daily.
Once you’ve got your goals, you need to make sure you think about them – and work toward them – daily. The best way to do that? Post them somewhere you’ll see them regularly – like next to your bed, or on your desk.
Finally, develop a tracking system that you interact with daily, so that you can see what you’ve accomplished – and what you need to focus on next – at a glance.
5. Upgrade Your Sleep
Much like good nutrition, sleep helps you recover from the inside out. When you’re well rested, you’re more balanced and resilient – both of which boost your recovery.
But if your bedroom isn’t up to scratch, your sleep won’t be either. Fortunately, you can dramatically improve the quality of your sleep with just a few tweaks.
If you’re uncomfortable in bed, it stands to reason that you’ll have a hard time sleeping soundly. Buy a new pillow, or even a new mattress topper, to make sure you’re comfortable.
After you’ve given your bed a makeover, take a look at your bedroom. Do your windows let light in, even at night? Buy blackout shades. Are you sleeping with your phone next to your bed, ensuring that distractions are never far away? Charge it across the room (or even in another room) instead.
6. Display Your Schedule
Having a schedule gives you structure. And structure gives you something to lean on for support.
Start by putting a calendar on your wall – in plain sight, just like your goals.
Fill in your pre-existing commitments and upcoming events. Is there an event coming up that feels stressful to you? Do you absolutely have to go? If not, make your apologies and get out of it. While you’re at it, take a look at your regular commitments and eliminate the ones that don’t fuel you, where possible.
Then, make appointments that do fuel you. You’re only as strong as your support network – so make sure you’re putting in the time necessary to maintain yours. If there are no sober friend dates or fun activities on the horizon, add a few to your schedule. The same goes for recovery meetings.
Bonus Tip: Get The Support You Need
Your environment is critical in getting – and staying – sober. But having the support you need can help you succeed where you might have failed, and pick you up after you’ve fallen.
Need support? Contact us today to see how we can help you solidify your recovery.